In other to address the decay in manpower development in freight forwarding profession, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Multimix Academy, Dr. Obiora Madu, has called for a compulsory certification of new and existing freight forwarders practicing in the sector.
Dr Madu made this call recently in chat with Shipping Position Daily in Lagos.
He said that though the responsibly of regulating the profession has been given to the Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria (CRFFN) the Council has not done enough in this regard.
Dr Madu advised that certification should be made compulsory for anyone to practice in the sector adding that it will enable the practitioners to be on the same academic level with other maritime operators.
"That responsibility has been given to CRFFN who is currently working with the Nigerian Institute of Freight Forwarding and Customs Brokers (NIFFCB) but the point is that things are too slow. Because the programs already approved both at diploma and advanced level, so many organisations have been accredited and these accredited organisations are ready to go. But the agency responsible needs to get things going because that is the only way to go. Most importantly also if you want to professionalise freight forwarding, there must he some certifications that are compulsory before people can practice"
He also urged the government to ensure that unregistered freight forwarders are not allowed to practice.
He maintained the need for a cordial relationship between the Nigerian Customs Service and the CRFFN.
The Multimix boss frowned at the situation where practitioners will ignore CRFFN and register with for clearing licenses with Customs.
"Like I said Customs and CRFFN need to come together. A situation where people can ignore CRFFN and get or renew their licenses will not help the matter that is the key thing. So if the two of them agree to come together and say if you do not undergo this certification or if a company does not have one or two persons who are certified it doesn't necessarily be the owner of the business you won't operate. Because in US if you are dealing with import, export and the rest of them you are getting and you don't have a compliance certificate you cannot operate"
"When that kind of situation comes so that for you to renew your license with customs you have to she evidence with CRFFN that you have gone through this certification. So that based on CRFFN recommendations, the person will be recognised. But if we continue the way we are going now we won't get anything", he added.